Clare took up running to lose weight and get fit and is now an accomplished athlete with a sub 4-hour marathon under her belt. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Absolutely not. I was quite unhealthy until my late twenties, I smoked and I was overweight. When I gave up smoking and lost weight I felt so much healthier so wanted to do something which would help me feel even better and hopefully stop me from reverting back to bad habits so I started running.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
My husband doesn't run but likes to keep active and it was important to me that we had an active hobby we could do together so we bought bikes and both fell in love with cycling! It felt like an obvious step to combine running and cycling and throw in some swimming too.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
The Cotswold Classic in 2019. It was my first triathlon so was incredibly special. The conditions were perfect and the bike leg was fast and flat. The team behind it were incredible, really making it one to remember and I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
And your proudest achievement?
It's close! Probably the race I have just talked about. Taking on a 70.3 as my first triathlon was daunting and my run fitness was not where it should have been as I'd struggled with my achilles in the months before. I got the sub 6-hour finish I had dreamed of so was incredibly proud! A sub 4-hour marathon is also up there as something I look back on with much pride!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Nothing disastrous luckily! My toughest race was probably Chester marathon a few years ago where I got overwhelmed by the distance at around the half way mark. Since then I've adopted the 'run the mile you're in' mantra, especially in anything long distance.
How do you overcome setbacks?
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! There's nothing better than progressing and that feeling that you are getting better each day but it's not realistic and each setback gives you a new line in the sand.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Don't compare yourself to others! I've given myself this advice many times and I'm pretty glad I am now at a point where I only want to compete against myself. As someone who'll never make a podium it's nice that I can just focus on my own improvements and hitting times that are good for me.
What are your goals?
To complete a full Ironman. I was due to race at the Lakesman full this month. All being well, I'll be toeing the line there next year, something I am incredibly excited about.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
There are so many incredible women out there. As inspiring as the pros are, I find those who juggle training and full-time jobs and still achieve incredible things the real inspiration.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
There are a lot of brands that produce great quality, good-looking kit but what really makes Sundried stand out is their approach to sustainability. We need to do more to protect this planet and to see a brand make a concerted effort to contribute to this is incredibly important.
My first Sundried purchase was my trisuit and it is still my favourite. As soon as I put it on I just feel awesome!